Transitions I: Engaging the Liberal Arts offers three hours of credit and is designed to address high level cognitive skills, such as ethical reasoning, critical thinking, and quantitative literacy, by centering on a topic of such interest. This course is purposely designed to get your college career off to a wonderful start. Students have the opportunity to choose a topic of interest from 16 different classes. Please read over the course descriptions below and choose four that you would be interested in pursuing further. We will do our best to place students in one of his or her top four choices. Please note: If you are in the Honors Program or STEM Cohort, please indicate that on the website registration form.
Artists have always reflected and challenged the times they live in. In this course we will study the history of the connection between activism and the arts, and imagine how we might use our own potential as artists to challenge the issues facing the world around us.
Instructor: Dr. Kelly Bremner
Whether you actively follow her music or are simply an innocent bystander in Queen Bey’s kingdom, you are probably aware that Beyonce Knowles-Carter has influenced American culture in countless ways. Her music and image have become critical examples in discussions of race, gender, beauty, power, marriage, sex, parenthood, faith, and others, but the ways in which she constructs her identity deserve further examination. Through analysis of Beyonce’s music and influences, this course will consider the chains she sings about, the ways that she continues to break them, and the new and hybrid identities she creates in the process.
Instructor: Ms. Mary Ellis Rice
We will read the first volume of Martin’s series and a supplemental text to talk about ethics, worldview, governance, religion, violence, patriarchy, and preference.
Instructor: Rev. David Jackson
What is the food culture of college students today? What are the pros and cons of eating locally‐grown food? Organic food? Different kinds of meat? No meat at all? Eating is an agricultural act, said poet‐farmer Wendell Berry. This course explores the social, geographic and moral questions surrounding what we eat and how our food system can be sustainable in multiple globalizing, urbanizing and commodifying American cultures.
Instructor: Dr. Ed Davis
This course examines the central place that the frontier has held in shaping American society and the American character, from the earliest periods of settlement up through the twentieth century. Employing literature and film, as well as historical analysis, this course examines the development of the geographic frontier and such manifestations as cultural contacts, economics, diplomacy, social character, and intellectual formulations, with an emphasis on how those factors have been portrayed and embraced in American society.
Instructor: Dr. Michael Puglisi
We live in a time of smart phones and in vitro fertilization, and though human scientific understanding and technological mastery of nature has enabled marvelous achievements, it has exacted a price: Our instinctual, emotional identification with nature has diminished. In this course, students will explore a variety of literature that ponders what is still wild and instinctual in our nature. Students will also document a personal outdoor experience and then engage the creative process, constructing an artistic project that explores their own connection to nature.
Instructor: Mr. Jim Harrison
This course will take an in-depth look at the governing body of intercollegiate athletics. In addition to providing an overview of the NCAA from a historical perspective, much focus will be placed on current trends of the organization and the effect these have on the lives of today’s student athlete.
Instructor: Dr. Adam Smith
We live in a day and age where we are constantly consumed with information. We find ourselves putting our attention outward most of the time, which leads to less focus, productivity, creativity, and learning. Science now proves that in actuality we need to be going inward to find an abundance of these things. How does the mind-body connection affect our stress levels, learning, and ability to create? In this course, students will learn the science behind learning, the effects of stress, and practicing mindfulness as a means to become successful and productive.
Instructor: Ms. Megan Atkinson
What are myths? What distinguishes myths from other kinds of stories? What questions were myths designed to answer? Why do myths remain relevant today? In this course we will explore these questions through a survey of a few myths taken from ancient Greece and Rome. We will take a look at the Greek story of how the world was created, the battles between heroes and gods at Troy, and the founding of Rome by descendants of Trojan exiles.
Instructor: Dr. Jack Wells
Kenneth B. Clark, the psychologist whose studies on racial identity helped shape America’s historic 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, analyzed the role of racial identity relative to the struggle for equality. Despite progress toward said equality, race continues to define United States culture and—in the view of many—prevents the development of the “just society” envisioned by Clark, Martin Luther King, and others. Through research, debate and other class interactions, students will explore specific questions relative to this ongoing debate—a debate intensified in the presidential election of 2008.
Instructor: Dr. Jerry Jones
This course will explore the history of the concept of self-motivation. It will also offer student opportunities to analyze barriers to self motivation and apply strategies for assuming greater personal responsibility toward what is of value.
Instructor: Dr. Eric Grossman
African Americans share a piece of the rich history of Emory and Henry College. As a predominately white Institution (PWI), students of color typically face unique challenges getting acclimated, engaged, and succeeding at these institutions. This course will examine the history and evolution of African American students at Emory and Henry College and will explore national issues facing students of color at PWI’s with special emphasis on small private liberal arts colleges. Students will learn why a liberal arts education is critical in their personal and professional development and will examine both theoretical and practical strategies of effective student success. E&H Alumni and continuing students will be invited to share their experiences, as well as, faculty and staff. This course will seek to build community and student engagement, while providing the proverbial “weekly living room”, where students, in a group setting, can share their on-campus experiences and identify ways of supporting one another. Students will also be encouraged to get involved in the life of the campus, while establishing campus-wide coalitions across differences.
Instructor: Mr. John Holloway
This is a course about American collective memory and about collective memory in Southwest Virginia, where Emory & Henry is located. More particularly it is about the memory of the enslavement of African American women, children, and men to build the nation’s economy and that of Southwest Virginia. We will consider how and why some groups, individuals, experiences, and moments are remembered and are a fixture of the American collective memory and others are not. Such inclusion and exclusion, the ways that some memories are constructed and stories built from them, whose stories become a part of the nation’s and the region’s collective or public memory and whose do not, have a profound effect on education, economics, politics, public policy, civic life, and how we understand who we are as individuals and as a people. Which region’s collective experience are integrated into the national, the American, collective memory and which are not? Why? We will take on these questions and their implications for civic life by examining African American slavery and various efforts to integrate this horrific reality and all of the issues which have rippled from it, into Southwest Virginia and American collective memory.
Instructor: Dr. Tal Stanley
Have you ever wondered about the Universe? What we know about it and where we fit in? Through a survey of basic astronomy and cosmology, we will explore aspects of our Universe ranging from the Big Bang to the search for ET. This course is meant to be a journey into the human race’s endless quest for knowledge and through this knowledge gain some perspective into life on Earth. Celebrated physicist Carl Sagan once said "We are a way for the universe to know itself. Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can, because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star stuff." One clear implication of this famous statement is that in the process of learning about the cosmos we are, in fact, learning about ourselves.
Instructor: Dr. Danielle Morel
This course will discuss zombies as a continuously changing metaphor for society’s fear of the unknown. By tracing the evolution of zombie mythology and symbolism from its origins in Haitian slave culture to its reception in popular culture today, we will focus on how this iconic idea has developed over time. The zombie stands not just as a symbol of decay and death, but also as a representation of globalization, terrorism, consumerism, and the extremes of humanistic thought. And while most zombies live in horror films, we can find them just as easily in comedy. This class will therefore analyze novels, short stories, films, and television shows to consider why we care so much about zombies and why they remain an enduring enigma in American culture today.
Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Krause